Myth: My students would prefer that I not suggest changes to their setup / bike fit.

Alternates of this Myth are:

  • My students would be offended or embarrassed if I even touch their setup. 
  • Other Instructors may be offended if I make suggestions to their student's setup.

People are creatures of habit and routine. We all derive comfort from the familiar. Like robots, we try to do exactly the same thing every time we find ourselves in these familiar situations/places.

For the regulars in your class this means they get to the club at the same time, park in the same general location, attempt to get the same locker, find the same bike and set it up in exactly the same way, every time.

Unfortunately just because some behavior is routine, doesn't mean it's correct or for that matter rational 🙁

I'm going to assume that you do want everyone looking right and feeling comfortable on their bikes. So let's get past this myth if it's holding you back.

First, I feel it's important that you recognize the initial resistance to change your offer may receive. It may not be as traumatic as missing Judge Wapner was for Rain Man, but for some of your participants change isn't a comfortable thing. So your success will come down to how to presenting (dare I say selling) your "suggestion" properly.

A while back I wrote a post about the importance of asking the right question. In it I discussed how I'm frequently asked; "Where can I get certified as an Instructor?" My quick answer was typically to have them check with all of the Indoor Cycling certification companies to see when they were hosting a certification near by and sign up. But then I realized they weren't asking the right question. Sure, getting certified is important, but it wasn't what they were really looking for. The right question was; "what do I need to do to become an Instructor and teach a regularly scheduled class at my local studio?"

It's all about the Benefits

No one woke up with an irresistible urge to order a ThighMaster - but thousands of people did because they wanted Suzanne Summers' legs. What sold these worthless pieces of exercise equipment was that people are motivated by the benefits (real or perceived)  that they feel they will receive by purchasing a product or making a change. Going back to my earlier example, telling someone at a party you're Spinning® certified isn't nearly as impressive as proudly explaining that you are the Saturday morning Instructor at the local Big Box club.

Am I making sense here?

So the right questions to ask a participant who could benefit from a little adjustment could be:

  • Can I show you a trick (people love tricks) to be more comfortable riding today? It doesn't hurt if the benefit comes immediately either.
  • I just learned a how a small change in your position can improve your hamstring engagement, can we see if it would help you become more efficient, powerful or help you develop more shapely legs?  

And most of us need to hear about those supposed benefits, over and over and over, before considering they apply to us. So why not start sprinkling the benefits of proper setup / bike fit into your class intro starting tomorrow?


Originally posted 2012-12-05 05:57:12.


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